Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Final Time at Silk

Our day in Barbados came just over halfway through our Quantum cruise on day 7. Our dinner that night was at Silk, and after our experience there on the first night, none of us were really looking forward to it. The horrible service and issues with food allergies and mediocre food were still pretty fresh in our memories, but we tried to keep an open mind since maybe they were just first night jitters. Also, this was before Quantum started swapping the menus halfway through, so the options were going to be exactly the same as last time. That was one of the big drawbacks of the (now defunct) Dynamic Dining plan if you're the type who tries a lot of things in one sitting (like we usually did).


The off-menu starter was papadums with sweet chili sauce. We had to request these unlike the wonton chips we got the first day, and the wonton chips were better. It probably didn't help that this arrived after our appetizers, so it wasn't there to snack on while we waited.

The other appetizers we got were:

Crab rangoon with spicy mango preserves: These were pretty good, very crispy, and filled with actual crab. We got two plates of these for the table and were pleased with the choice. Maybe our mistake the first time was not getting as many fried appetizers, since the fried food seemed to be okay there.

We also got the shrimp shumai but those were the same as last time, so not much more to say about that. At least they were good.

Chicken egg drop soup with scallions (M): M's mom ordered this last time. M tried it and generally liked it, but did not like the crispy (soggy) noodles that were on top, so she ordered it this time without them. So much better. The soup was very light and clean, exactly what she was looking for, and she was happy with her choice.

Hot ramen noodle with chicken, bok choy, mushrooms, and spicy ginger broth (A): Since soup is hard to share, we both ordered different soups and just tried a little bit of each other's. This spicy ramen had a nice broth with a good hit of spice. The noodles were chewy, not too firm, but not mushy. There were also sliced mushrooms and bok choy, which contributed to this soup tasting very clean and healthy. Overall this ramen tasted clean, but it didn't have the richness that we normally expect from ramen broth. That's not a bad thing, just different.

Green papaya salad with pea shoots, coriander, peanuts: We ordered this one last time and it was M's favorite appetizer that night, despite the fact that it was orange papaya and not green and that it was one of the most bizarre "papaya salads" we'd eaten. This time it was still orange papaya, but the grape tomatoes had been replaced with sliced up regular tomatoes and there was shredded lettuce instead of arugula. The salad itself was bigger, but it was still strange. We didn't realize it at the time we were eating our appetizers but this was the first sign that the kitchen was starting to run out of ingredients.


We don't really remember what M's dad got for an entree, but her mom got the same salmon as last time. Unfortunately this time, it was drier, and for some odd reason came with broccoli instead of bok choy. It seemed like maybe the kitchen had run out of bok choy for the salmon dish and was saving it for the soup (in smaller amounts). Everyone's seemed to come out with broccoli, so M was glad she hadn't ordered the salmon. Looking back and comparing to the first night, the shiitake mushrooms also seemed to be missing. 

M ordered the chicken tikka masala with coconut jasmine rice and mango chutney as her entree, because the one A had gotten the first night was really good. Sadly, this was not as good as the first night. The chicken part was saltier, and the coconut rice just didn't have as much flavor. It was unfortunate that one of the few hits from the first night fell short this time. The kitchen was pretty inconsistent.

To share, we ordered the Thai beef salad with "marinated sirloin, tomato, onion, cucumber, lime-cilantro dressing." No idea who wrote the menus for Royal Caribbean, but it should have said "marinated sirloin, snow peas, celery, basil, red onions, carrots, and cucumbers." Our initial bite of this salad was good, but it got very monotonous just eating lightly seasoned raw vegetables. The beef itself wasn't that great, so it didn't make the salad much better. It just felt like a chore eating this even though based on the ingredients, we should have liked it. There was just a complete lack of flavor/seasoning.

A ordered the hibachi steak which was teriyaki steak and wasabi mashed potatoes with stir-fried vegetables. The sliced steak was cooked medium rare which A thought was perfect. The wasabi mashed potatoes had a good hit of wasabi but it wasn't overpowering. The flavoring of the dish was basically just like pepper steak. As for the stir-fried vegetables, they were red peppers, onions, snow peas, and carrots. This ended up being a good dish. Everything was actually seasoned well and cooked properly.


We didn't really like either dessert that we tried on our first visit, so we got two new ones this time.

M chose the cardamom pot au creme with chai spiced palmiers. The cream here was very rich, but we thought it would make for a good ice cream flavor. Sadly the cookies didn't have much flavor. We had been looking forward to the chai spices, but they were barely there. Like most of the dishes from Silk this night, it lacked flavor.

A picked the chocolate lychee tart with fortune cookie crust. This was very rich, but nowhere near as rich as the chocolate dessert from the night before at Chic. The fortune cookie crust didn't taste like fortune cookie. The lychee was salted which was really disappointing. A was hoping for, at the barest minimum, a sweet lychee to eat.

Overall, our second (and last) meal at Silk was okay. The handling of food allergies was still a bit of a mess, but it was better than the previous visit where no one had a clue. The service was a little more attentive, but that was mostly due to our server constantly dropping by and asking us to tell his supervisor that he was doing a good job. The food itself was hit or miss again as far as flavor which was disappointing. On top of all that, we saw some dishes on other tables that looked good, like spring rolls, but hadn't seen those on the menu. On our way out, we learned that all the stuff that looked better was on the kids menu. If only we had known that in advance, we might have had better meals there. We were pretty glad that we wouldn't be returning to Silk based on what we did eat, but if we had another one scheduled there, we would have definitely been investigating the kids menu.

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